Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse cites a source as saying the Nationals were shopping Josh Willingham two weeks ago, but now he is “untouchable.”
Yes. Stick with me — the same guy who the Nats wouldn’t give more than
a sniff of playing time just a month ago. Sure, Willingham has been
incredible in July, batting .329/.423/.683 with seven homers and 23
RBI, including two grand slams against the Brewers on Monday, but isn’t
this a perfect opportunity to sell high? Under team control for two
more seasons, Willingham might be the best trade chip the Nationals
currently have on their roster, especially when you compare him to an
impending free agent like Nick Johnson. Now 30 years old, Willingham
doesn’t figure to be around when (if?) the Nationals are ready to
You hate to say this, but perhaps Willingham is motivated to play well right now because he actually wants
to get traded to a contender? You know, a real light at the end of tunnel
sort of scenario. If we’ve entered a world where Josh Willingham is
untouchable, then give Jeff Francoeur a contract extension.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.